Astral reports strong TV ad market rebound

The media company's first-quarter report shows increases in both TV and radio revenues.

Despite lowered earnings due to 2009 one-time gains, Astral Media rode a Canadian ad market rebound to increased first quarter radio and TV revenues.

TV ad revenue rose 16% to $40.3 million during the three months until Nov. 30, while radio ad revenue, hit hard during the 2009 industry downturn, rose 3% to $91.6 million.

Overall revenue, which includes subscription fees and pay-per-view sales, rose 7% to $267.1 million.

In results that mirrored those earlier in the week from rival Corus Entertainment, Astral saw overall earnings dip, as expected, by 18% to $53.3 million, against a profit of $64.6 million in 2009.

The profit drop was due to a year-earlier one-time gain of $11.6 million on a regulatory fee reversal and an $8 million income tax recovery in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Ian Greenberg, Astral president and CEO, in a statement that accompanied the latest financial results, pointed to ‘encouraging signs of recovery’ in the Canadian ad markets at the end of 2010, which fed through to the first quarter results.

Greenberg is to hold an analyst call Tuesday morning to shed additional light on the first quarter results.

From Playback Daily